It took me 26 years to ‘find’ gardening, and when I did, it was because it fed my long-time passion for cooking. I discovered the incredible number of varieties of fruit and vegetables I could access from my very own garden simply by growing my own.
I’m passionate about growing my own and harvesting the array of crops to use in the kitchen. And For 10 years, I’ve been a straight-up fruit and veg man.
However, the truth is gardening does not exist in silos. There is both a cooperative arrangement within the plant kingdom and, when the gardening bug gets you, an attraction to growing wider than any particular species or cultivar – be that flowers or vegetables.
Since growing fruit and vegetables on the allotment, I have experienced the pleasure that flowers offer from my own allotment neighbours and especially through the fantastic community of gardeners I connect with online. I’ve become rather fond of them (and the flowers).
Sweet peas are not new to me as I have tried growing them in the past. I’ve just not had much luck in doing so and as a result, I’ve not attempted to grow them for a few years.
However, the lovely people at Mr Fothergill’s have provided the perfect opportunity for me to try these traditional British blooms again through their brand new Sweet Pea variety ‘Lady Salisbury’.
Lady Salisbury provides classic, highly scented cream and white flowers. Importantly for me though is this Sweet Pea produces long-stemmed blooms which make them superb for cutting to bring home from the plot for a display of summer on the table.
The thought of growing flowers on the allotment and harvesting them, as I do with the fruit and vegetables, is something that I’m very keen on. It keeps the plot in balance and aligned with my ideas of what an allotment should be.
Sweet Pea experts all appear to agree that autumn is the best time to sow. The idea is that come March or April, the plants have a well-developed root system and a bushy top growth and this results in the delight of earlier blooms. I also see it as an opportunity to get ahead start and reduce the pressure when the busyness of spring comes around.
I’ve sown half of the seeds this month. Simply popping 5 seeds, 1/2 inch deep in a pot filled with sowing compost. It’s still very much a trial for me to grow Sweet Peas and even more of one to sow in the autumn. I’ll keep the remainder of seeds to sow in the Spring, either to replace a loss or to add to the progression of blooms. I’m hoping it’s the latter!
As I’ve moved forward with the allotment and as I’ve shaped and created more area for growing, it’s time I plan not just for fruit and vegetables, but for flowers too. How exciting!
Sweet Pea Lady Salisbury is available from Mr Fothergill’s for sowing this autumn or from January onwards, priced £2.45 for 20 seeds.
Mr Fothergill’s have provided me with ‘Lady Salisbury‘ from their 2018 range. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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